Opinion: Join Together With The Brand


Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Opinion

Celtic Park Front Door

There has been a lot of reflection at Celtic over the last few weeks.


A couple of defeats have got some questioning direction and our financial figures for the year 2014-15 show a loss and the club relying heavily on Champions League prize money or player sales just to balance the books.


The 30th Anniversary of the death of Jock Stein has had us remembering his legacy. A legacy which saw the modern day Celtic created on the football park.


Both highlight the confusing situation that we find ourselves in. Like oil and water the past and present seem incapable of mixing.


When Graeme Souness walked into Scottish Football all changed. It became about spending the most money – or others peoples money -, about being bigger, better and flashier. The way clubs operated changed and not for the better. We mimicked what happened in England despite not having resources.  


Celtic’s business plan was simple before R*ngers demise. It was an arms race where we had a target and a rival. Since 2012 it all changed and if I am being honest I think we have struggled with this.  


When Martin O’Neill left everything the club has done has been seen as downsizing. Gordon Strachan, Tony Mowbray, Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila have all been seen as downsized options.


The club have on the one hand gave the clear as day reasons why we haven’t got the financial might we once had or appeared to have, but on the other hand kept the impression going that we still had the financial might and brand of a Man United and of other top Premiership Clubs.    


The club have to be honest with us. Honest about where we are and about what we need. We haven’t bought the idea of Celtic since football became all about money.


The club have to stop giving the impression of on ailing big club unhappy with it’s lot in the world and start remembering what made us special in the first place and sell the club on that.  


Celtic Park is impressive these days.


You have the Celtic Way, statues of those who founded and shaped our club and the timeline livery round the stadium with the slogan “Where Legends Are Made.” The club state that they are “More Than A Club”.  You have the great work of the Celtic Charity Foundation.


Those things say more about Celtic than any Champions League Qualification and I think that seems to have been forgotten by the fan and also the club themselves.  


Celtic’s identity was the one that was created by Brother Walfrid and Jock Stein. Not the Champions League, being the most successful club or having the biggest revenue in Scotland. That’s what the club should represent when it steps on the pitch and we turn up to support it. The club need to start selling that again.


To do that the club need to look at the core values of the club and the support and reach out to them. The thousands of empty seats say that the club are failing to do that.


Celtic have an idea what they are trying to sell. The livery and slogans say it but this is tempered by the conflict between ideals and modern football as a business first and foremost. We need to bridge that and make them meet and work together.


The slogan “More Than A Club” reflects the social responsibility of the club. The responsibility that was founded in 1887 when the first meeting took place. A social responsibility to it’s community.


The work of the Charity Foundation reflects the this responsibility and it’s fantastic to see the Foundation Logo on the kits. This logo should be a permanent feature on the kits.


Celtic fought long and hard regarding Safe Standing. This was decision that had the fans wishes at the forefront. This has to continue. All decisions taken must put the fans first as the club have a responsibility to those fans.


The first decision that the club needs to take is to revisit it’s pricing and change it to reflect the social and economic situations of it’s support and other supporters who visit Celtic Park.


Yes, the club have to have a sustainable model but having a stronger social policy will mean that the two will work in harmony.


On the field the club has always represented a way of playing football. We would all say the correct way of playing football. Our most famous sons were all created by the club. The slogan “Were Legends Are Made” is completely apt.


In today’s saturated football news market where transfer rumours and big transfer fees are the viewing figures and clicks kings then this is a tough sell.


The club have for years spoke about the need to develop their own players but it’s almost in apologetic tones. What about telling us is that’s the Celtic thing to do? That we are going to give players the correct football education, you play attacking football that entertains and is a Celtic football education. Tell, us that this is way will have bumps and failures but it’s the clubs identity. 


I’m not going to lie to you as I know you readers have more sense than that. All the last few hundred words could be dismissed as romantic mumbo jumbo and complete and utter fantasy.  


But, since we are being truthful, I was told the story of Celtic not as a story of a normal football club but as a fairytale and a romantic story. I wasn’t sold a story of us being just another football club. I was sold the story of us being an alternative football club that was for a people and a cause.
So forgive me for wanting my football club to represent what made us special in the first place and I’m sure what we were all sold as kids. I just want us to find our way again.      



  1. Steven Redmond
    Posted September 19, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! Fantastic piece

  2. James
    Posted September 19, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    All the MSM in this country want to see us fail in every respect.They are bitter ,twisted and very anti Celtic and very pro any team laying out of Ibrokes.
    Let’s prove that we are a club like no other.Its time for us Celtic supporters to encourage our friends and families to fill the stadium week in week out.like before,too many Celtic supporters are falling into the MSM trap and forgetting that WE ARE CELTIC SUPPORTERS FAITHFUL THROUGH AND THROUGH.
    Let’s get back to what we do best Supporting the HOOPS through thick and thin.


  3. David Potter
    Posted September 22, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Well said! Celtic must be more than a football club. We represent and mean such a lot to so many people.
    Time for us to play the football (like we saw v Dundee), bring success and money to the club in the first place, but then use the money to do some good. For dinner tables in the East End of Glasgow, read Syrian refugees today. Celtic MUST mean that!
    We are not another football club. We are Celtic!

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